Being a Great Change Leader is one of those paradoxes where it’s not about you and all about you.
To lead a wildly successful change process you need to be able to inspire your people through your vision and to enable them to do the work that makes the vision happen. Then, your acknowledgment and celebration of their contributions toward this successful change process is critical.
As we wrap up this blog series I encourage you to pause and reflect on where you are doing great and where you could make some improvements in how you are leading your people through a successful change process.
This is part 3 of the 3-part series on Being a Great Change Leader by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.A well rounded, trained, and prepared staff is your best approach to any successful change initiative. Click To Tweet
Great change leaders understand the difference between change management and leading change. They build on the five pillars of change. We discussed the first three pillars—Vision, Plan, and Investment—in the last two posts.
Providing the Training
A plan for change that calls for new procedures or systems requires properly trained and skilled people. As the leader, you may need to include the cost of employee training in your investment plans. One of the best ways to implement large-scale training is to have a select team of employees undergo extensive training, and then serve as in-house experts able to train their coworkers.
Being a great change leader you make use of this strategy to optimize collaboration, teamwork, brainstorming, and buy-in. It not only raises in-house expertise but also empowers and engages your people in the vision and the plan.
In addition to technical training, leaders, managers, and employees benefit from soft skill training that enhances change initiatives. As the leader you give your people the opportunity to learn:
- Project management skills
- Collaborative workshop and brainstorming/innovation techniques
- Leadership skills, including active listening, conflict resolution, and constructive feedback
- Relational intelligence skills; how to read people, work in unity and support others
- How to give presentations
- New mindsets, including positivity, overcoming anxieties and being more agile
A well rounded, trained, and prepared staff is your best approach to any successful change initiative.
Remember to Celebrate Progress
Great change leaders know that people under pressure need occasional relief and encouragement. Workers don’t last long when they’re constantly driven with no feedback on how they’re doing.
Establishing methods to track progress allows people to know where things stand as they move forward through the change process. You should not only recognize the project status but also appreciate and acknowledge the hard work and progress being made. Do this publicly, and frequently. Emphasize the positives and encourage continued success. When you are at your best as a leader you celebrate the small victories along the way.
Gather everyone to share stories and accomplishments. Highlight those who are contributing to the successes through the use of their strengths. Authentically shower them with acknowledgments and thanks. This fosters a sense of self-worth and value to the project and organization, and it makes a potentially long project feel more manageable.
At the completion of the implementation, even grander celebrations are called for. Make it a big deal—because to your people, it is. These are the kinds of things that keep them engaged in the purpose and the vision while working out the kinks. It also encourages them to continue applying themselves and allows the vision to continue living in and through them.
As the leader, your role is foundational in initiating change, drawing your people to its purpose, and giving them purpose as they partner with you to implement the change.
Do you pause to acknowledge everyone’s contributions to the change process? How do you celebrate progress when leading change? What do you need to work on to be a more successful change agent? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.